Why this Chrome-Finished Tesla Cybertruck is a Big Risk for Pedestrians and Drivers

The internet is littered with videos of children (and even adults) running headfirst into mirrors at those carnival mirror-maze-rooms. Imagine a mirror moving at breakneck speeds with the ability to completely obliterate you to pieces because you didn’t see (or hear) it driving towards you. The Tesla Cybertruck was already termed a death-machine on wheels, and now someone’s taken things to the extreme by giving it a thorough polishing, turning it into a literal ‘murder-mirror’. Here’s why this is such a terrible idea, why it’s dangerous even for other riders, and why it might potentially even be illegal in certain countries.

Designer: Tyson Garvin

This particular project comes from Tyson Garvin, who shared the project on Twitter (also known as X.com) complete with a video of the process. It took about a week and four people total to polish every metal surface of the truck’s exterior, resulting in a finish so glossy it practically looks like a vinyl wrap. However, that’s just extremely buffed and waxed metal, which reflects everything around it. In theory, the Cybertruck looks awesome, practically, though, this might just be more dangerous on the roads than your regular Cybertruck.

We humans detect objects by assigning color and depth to them as we move around. It’s easy to identify a mirror when it’s in an ornate or a defined frame, or if it has specs of dirt on it. Otherwise, it can be difficult to spot a mirror or a pane of glass, which is why sometimes people walk right into well-polished glass doors, or sometimes fall through an open door because they thought there was glass there. The same thing applies with cars on the road. When you’re a pedestrian, you need to be hyper-aware of everything around you. Your mind pays attention to objects, people, sounds, lights, everything while you make a decision to cross a road. Ambulances and police cars have lights for a reason, to make them extra visible, school buses are yellow so that you see them from a distance, so are red fire trucks. When you’ve got something as mirror-finished as a mirror-finish Cybertruck hurtling down the road, chances are your mind will ignore it because it reflects stuff around it, blending in instead of being more visible. Especially if it’s making a turn, you’re less likely to notice it out of the corner of your eye because you don’t perceive a block of color in your periphery. This is terrible for other cars too, as they may not notice you while driving, or while approaching a crossing. The onus is then on the Cybertruck driver to be hyper-vigilant – and I may not speak for you but I don’t put my life in the hands of people who drive Cybertrucks.

In fact, chrome wraps or finishes are outlawed in certain countries like Australia and New Zealand (you can’t register your car if it has a chrome finish) for this exact reason. These countries (especially New Zealand) have lower population levels, and emptier roads, prompting you to drive faster – this dramatically decreases your reaction time with such vehicles, increasing chances of a collision.

The problem doesn’t end there, a mirror-finish car can sometimes blind people because of glare. Imagine driving on a sunny day, and a massive mirror flashes sunlight in your eye, causing you to temporarily lose control of your vehicle. Chrome-finish vehicles can be quite a nuisance during the day, or even at night when headlights bounce right off the body, hitting your eye. Even if the Cybertruck remains parked in a driveway, it could potentially shoot glare right into your eye, creating a moment of temporary blindness that can lead to a disaster.

Finally, and this is just for the truck owner – Tesla spent months (if not years) developing a coating to prevent the Cybertruck from getting rusted (turns out it still might be able to), so polishing the Cybertruck’s matte surface without ensuring you give it a protective coating might just cause your Cybertruck to rust more than others. How this mirror-finish Cybertruck ages is truly something we’ll have to see with time, but I honestly do feel scared for the people who may be around this vehicle, and hope they have much better peripheral vision and situational awareness than most.

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